On Dear White People And The Rest Of This Weekend's Special And Wide Releases.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Writers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris.
Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts.
Playing At: Landmark Magnolia and Angelika Plano.

Because I spent a lot of time on my Birdman review and want you to read it, this is the only sentence you'll get about this movie in this space. OK, I lied. Four Sentences. Read my review here.

Whiplash.
Director: Damien Chazelle.
Writer: Damien Chazelle.
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist.
Playing At: Landmark Magnolia and Angelika Plano.

This is another movie I can’t stop talking about this week. Check out my review here.

Dear White People.
Director: Justin Simien.
Writer: Justin Simien.
Cast: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas.

Just like Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Justin Simien’s Dear White People made a big splash at Sundance this year. Since it’s currently sitting at 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s safe to say this is a Critic’s Darling. If, for some crazy reason, Whiplash and Birdman are two movies you just do not want to see, Dear White People should be the one you give your money to this weekend.

Exists.
Director: Eduardo Sánchez.
Writer: Jamie Nash.
Cast: Dora Madison Burge, Brian Steele, Denise Williamson.
Playing At: AMC Grapevine Mills.

Eduardo Sánchez made The Blair Witch Project, the movie that arguably pioneered the found-footage subgenre. So his latest, a found-footage horror film about bigfoot called Exists just has to be good — or, at the very least, worth watching. Right? Wrong. Exists manages to follow every horror cliche and trope. And it's painful to watch. You want to see a good found-footage horror film about Bigfoot? Watch Bobcat Goldthwait's Willow Creek. He's at least aware that found-footage is a stupid way to make a film and takes full advantage of that notion. The results are hilarious and there are moments that will make you jump. So, yeah, skip Exists.

John Wick.
Directors: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski.
Writer: Derek Kolstad.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen.
Playing At: Wide Release.

If you light a wick on a stick of dynamite, the blast is the last thing you'll see. If you kill John Wick's dog, a bullet to the head will be the last thing you see. This film fits under the “Fucking Awesome Fun” genre, and our Kip Mooney agrees. Read his review here.

Ouija.
Director: Stiles White.
Writer: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White.
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Shelley Hennig.
Playing At: Wide Release.

It's October, the month when major studios vomit their horror films into theaters. This week is Ouija, a movie I admittedly skipped the press screening of because it unabashedly looks horrid.

The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears.
Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani.
Writers: Bruno Forzani, Hélène Cattet.
Cast: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

I haven't seen The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears, but if I were you, I'd read Anonymous' synopsis of the film on IMDb. He or she sells it well. This film comes from the same distributor as Wetlands, which I highly enjoyed, so expect something… different.

23 Blast.
Director: Dylan Baker.
Writers: Bram Hoover, Toni Hoover.
Cast: Mark Hapka, Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang.
Playing At: Wide Release.

Much to my disapproval, 23 Blast is not pornography, but a movie about high school football. Still, I'm pretty sure there's a happy ending.

Listen Up Philip.
Director: Alex Ross Perry.
Writer: Alex Ross Perry.
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

Let's get down to business: I hated Listen Up Philip. It's a movie about some of the most mean-spirited, self-indulgent people you'll ever meet. I am apparently the lone wolf in this fight, but don't come running to me if you walk out with a bad taste in your mouth. It's not the popcorn.

Bride of Frankenstein.
Director: James Whale.
Writer: William Hurlbut.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

Just when you thought Frankenstein was dead, director James Whale (no relation) wants you to know that he's alive and well. Additionally, Dr. Frankenstein now has a babe on his side, too.

The Blue Room.
Director: Mathieu Amalric.
Writer:Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas).

I've watched the trailer and read the synopsis supplied by the Cannes Film Festival of The Blue Room five times to try and grasp a better understanding of the film. But this looks to be one of those great “What the fuck did I just watch!!?” kind of movies. It premiered at the Cannes, a festival known for screening the bizarre and the beautiful, so my theory is probably correct. Maybe.

Last Days in Vietnam.
Director: Rory Kennedy.
Writer: Mark Bailey, Keven McAlester.
Playing At: Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.

Last Days in Vietnam isn't an easy movie to swallow and should leave you with a lump in your throat. It's a documentary penned in part by former local boy done good Keven McAlester that centers on the last weeks of the Vietnam War. More specifically, it focuses on when soldiers had to make the hard decision to evacuate U.S. citizens per the White House orders or rebel — and chance treason — while also aiming to get as many South Vietnamese citizens the hell out, too.

Poltergeist.
Director: Tobe Hooper.
Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor.
Cast: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas).

A lot of real tragedy surrounds Tobe Hooper's great horror film, Potergeist, which co-written by Steven Spielberg. Star Heather O'Rourke died at age 12 from Crohn's Disease, and Dominique Dunne, who played her older sister, was murdered by a jealous ex-boyfriend shortly after the film's theatrical release. I get chills when I think about it. Of course, this didn't stop the success of the franchise; it went on to make two sequels (O'Rourke died after Poltergeist III wrapped) and, soon, a very much unwanted reboot.

Cannibal Holocaust.
Director: Ruggero Deodato.
Writer: Gianfranco Clerici.
Cast: Robert Kerman, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Francesca Ciardi.
Playing At: Inwood.

Cannibal Holocaust is a refuse-to-see in my book, just because I don't have the stomach for it. It's insanely gory — with lots of rape, among other gross things. It's been deemed one of the most controversial films of all time — and not just for those reasons. Watch at your own discretion.

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